Most Canadians drink in moderation, however men and women of all ages, races, religions and socio-economic backgrounds are vulnerable to alcohol problems (CCSA, 2004, 4). Excessive drinking as defined by Neil Kessel and Henry Watson, a team of British psychiatrists, is marked by a obsession with drinking, a need for alcohol in order to function at work or in society, followed by guilt and dishonesty with regards to the consumption of alcohol (Bauer, 1983, 12). Traditionally, alcoholism and excessive drinking problems were treated as an illness with the assumption that it afflicted only men. Problem drinking in women however, is beginning to draw increasing attention by today's society and is the most frequently abused substance by women (Wilsnack et al., 1984, xi). An examination of excessive drinking among women and the multifactorial components involving the social, economic, and physiological implications surrounding the increase is essential to better understand the complexities of this issue.
Although excessive drinking in women has been prevalent throughout history, drinking problems are increasing, and increasing most predominantly among women. The physiological implications of excessive drinking in women are devastating and yet are only one factor in which needs to be considered. An examination of relevant antecedent events, experiences and attitudes is therefore necessary to understand the increasing rates of drinking among these women. As women's role in society continues to change from that of the traditional homemaker and caregiver to a less conservative more corporate independent role, women are engaging in drinking alcohol...
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...esent themselves for treatment and help. However, there are very sound reasons for believing that even if these factors may partly account for some of the rises, nevertheless there has been a real increase in drinking problems among women. Despite the severe physiological consequences, it is necessary, to recognize the importance of understanding the gender differences in how alcohol is used and processed, and the consequences of this alcohol abuse. Societal education and awareness is absolutely crucial to see this problem in all it's complexities and address it as such. Excessive drinking in women would not be adequately addressed with increased social programs and services. Early intervention, increased education of health professionals along with improved societal awareness is imperative in order to aggressively address the increase of alcoholism in women.
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